It begins anew…

So, I’ve started getting my Bertone road-worthy again. I started by ordering a replacement catalytic converter and getting a wide-band oxygen sensor from Oreilly’s (old Checker Auto). This past weekend I cleaned off the hood and the trunk (still can’t find my damn cordless screw driver). After I cleaned it off I popped the hood and pulled the battery out to charge it. A few hours on the charger and the battery was up to 12.42 volts and as of today (28-JAN) it’s holding at 12V. Good news. Now the bad news. Looks like the radiator is hosed, the thermostatic switch that screws in to the radiator is corroded and the retainer that screws in just came off in my hand. I’ll need to replace the camshaft, layshaft, and crank seals in front and the rear main seal. They won’t cost much, but will take a lot of time to fix. It’s worth it because the car is still pretty solid. What makes it worth it? When my kids get excited that ‘Daddy’s working on the car!’

Happy New Year!

So we’ve reached the end of another year – and we’ve survived it.

Our kids are all happy and healthy and doing well in school. The twins are learning how to play a violin(Sofia) and my old sax (Isabel) – a painful and fun experience – Marisol is in choir. I feel sorry for my parents now, having to go through FIVE of these evolutions. 8)

My Volvo is in dry dock, it needs a catalytic converter and an O2 sensor because it doesn’t pass emissions. A little cash should get it going pretty quickly. Something always comes up that’s more important though – its a good thing we have the van.

Vicki is still working at AAA Landscape – 18 years so far. Same length of time as we’ve been married. That’s right, we’ve been married since 1994! And I’m still alive!

I’ve been with Integrated Axis now for another year – I’m the managed services administrator now. I’m tasked with making sure that the we’re able to monitor our customer’s servers and networks and that we receive notifications of any failures. It’s alot of work but it keeps me busy.

We celebrated Christmas and New Years at my Mom’s – it was nice. We stayed up until 5:00AM – it was crazy! I’m too old. There, I said it. We watched the ‘new’ “Spiderman” and “Loopers” – the more you drink the better some movies are – just sayin’.

I feel very disappointed with the way our country voted in the 2012 election – a slim majority voted for someone I feel is a very poor choice as leader of the free world. We somehow re-elected a socialist, re-distributor of wealth who is bound and determined to change our country from a nation of producers to a nation of takers. Now, with the recent shooting tragedies this man has expressed his intention to push for MORE gun control instead of addressing what many have identified the main issue – mental health. On top of that, he and his minions in the Senate are unable to submit a budget as required by law but somehow feel qualified to choke our economy with a trillion dollar monstrosity of an abortion called the ‘affordable healthcare act’. Extended unemployment benefits. Quantitative easing (printing more money). Need to make sure you are saving money and have your firearms and ammo squared away.

Woo-hoo! New content!

Ok, getting back to work on this site.

I’ve been going through a lot in my personal life – closed the company, out of work for almost 2 years, renewing interest in some, reducing interest in other hobbies, family growing older and losing a member then gaining one. Been a rough few years.

I’m moving away from dedicated work on the Volvo as a hobby and more to making it a dedicated mode of transport because I’m pretty sure the van is dying. It’s got 180K miles on it and needs WAY too much work and funds to make it viable. I’d love to make it work but it needs a power steering pump, hoses, axle shafts, transmission or power train control module, a replacement passenger window lift motor assembly, instrument lights don’t work, radio cuts out, and who knows what else. The Volvo needs some minor work: a catalytic converter, O2 sensor, oil hoses, power steering rack, and pass emissions – all much cheaper than the van – and much easier to work on. The van has awesome AC but beyond that, I can’t see that we need it after the Volvo is back on-line. Either donate it or sell it for scrap. Either way, we have registration on it until next April at which point it may be time to cut our losses.

Mission Data no longer exists as a company. It died in 2009. I now work for another IT company in Tucson where I run the managed services – not glamorous but it pays the bills. For now.  This speaks to my next topic…

I’ve renewed my interest in firearms with a vengeance – to the point that I’ve decided that that will be my next field of endeavor. I’m working on building up my tool and skill set. To that end, I’ve decided that since I can’t afford to buy a lathe and mill, I’ll make them. While this might sound completely insane, I believe it’s completely do-able. My father taught me a lot about mechanics and where needed, there are extensive references on-line. I believe that I’ll have a working prototype by the end of DEC-2012. (unless the Aztecs were right and then this whole topic is mute). Anyway, long story short, I’m doing it. I’ve just finished building two AMD-65 AKM variants, one for me and one for the wife. (There’s more behind that story, to be updated later). I’ll be documenting my progress as time and my laziness allow.

My girls are now in the 5th and 3rd grades, time flies! We’re busier than ever with homework, I don’t know how people have time for any other activities. It’s insane! Having to re-learn math I’d forgotten 20 years ago is a riot, especially when they don’t even TEACH it the same way.

We had to say good bye to Bear, our beloved German Shepherd. He lived a long life, out-living his siblings Gunther and Engel, and adopted sibling, Mouse. We’d resigned ourselves to not having a pet friend for a while when Vicki got this email from some arcane Tucson bulletin board that had an ad for a German Shepherd puppy. Next thing you know, Jack-Jack entered our lives. He’s named after the baby in the cartoon film ‘The Incredibles’ because of the way he gets into trouble. Constantly.